Brown Urges Raimondo to Release Donation Information to Public, Defends Time at Global Zero
Friday, July 13, 2018
The statement follows a GoLocalProv report that Raimondo never disclosed an illegal donation from Oaktree to the Employees Retirement Board or SEC.
As GoLocal wrote on Friday, “According to a settlement between the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Oaktree — a $100 billion California-based fund that Raimondo invested $20 million — the private equity firm gave Raimondo an illegal donation while she was running for Governor in 2014.”
The GoLocal article also mentions Engage RI.
Engage RI was the third-party political action committee that funded Raimondo’s pension reform effort. It was legally formed as a 501(c)4, a nonprofit that can do unlimited lobbying and campaigning.
According to the website thetruthaboutarnold.com, former Enron Executive and conservative billionaire, “John Arnold donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Engage RI, the PAC behind Raimondo’s campaign to cut benefits...”
Read Brown's Statement Below
The Raimondo campaign has been launching baseless, false and negative attacks against me that are increasingly desperate, strange and reckless. At least five times over the past 10 days her campaign has called Global Zero, the organization I co-founded and led, a “dark money” organization.
Global Zero is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to preventing nuclear war and ultimately eliminating nuclear weapons. I co-founded Global Zero 11 years ago because nuclear weapons were spreading and I believed the threat of them being used was rising. If that were to happen, the consequences would be devastating and global.
Global Zero convenes leaders, develops policy and builds grassroots support. It advocated effectively for the 2010 New START Treaty between the United States and Russia and the multilateral treaty that prohibited Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and received two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. It was backed by President Barack Obama, who wrote, “Global Zero will always have a partner in me and my administration” and leaders from around the world, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said, “Global Zero is grassroots activism at its finest.”
Global Zero’s sister organization, Global Zero Action, was founded in August 2016 with the launch of a public education campaign called “No Red Button,” convening a large coalition of organizations, including Greenpeace, 350.org, MoveOn and Daily Kos, to inform and engage Americans about the dangers of nuclear war and oppose the reckless policies espoused by candidate Donald Trump.
The organization coordinated a public letter signed by 30 former missile launch officers arguing that Donald Trump could not be trusted with the authority to order a nuclear launch, and it produced a viral video, letters to the editor and more. Hillary Clinton specifically highlighted this vital work in speeches and debates and my Global Zero co-founder Bruce Blair, in his personal capacity as a former nuclear missile launch officer, was featured in an ad for Clinton’s 2016 campaign about Trump’s unfitness for office. He was also invited to speak about the issue in his personal capacity and introduce Clinton at one of her final campaign rallies, in Ohio, after which Clinton spoke about our message and campaign at length in her speech.
Raimondo’s effort to paint a Nobel Peace Prize-nominated non-profit organization that works to prevent nuclear war as a “dark money” organization is absurd and categorically false. If Global Zero is a “dark money” organization then, according to her logic, so is every other non-profit charitable organization in the country (there are more than one million of them), including my son’s Cub Scout troop, Providence’s Fox Point Little League where I’ve coached for the past several years, and the youth community service program, City Year Rhode Island, which I co-founded and led 25 years ago.
Raimondo’s assertion that I “refuse to reveal” the donors to Global Zero is equally absurd. Global Zero’s major donors - mostly progressive charitable foundations fighting poverty and war - are listed on its website and have been for years. This information is easily found in a one-minute internet search.
Global Zero has a "Gold Seal of Transparency" from GuideStar, the nation's leading information clearing house on U.S. charities, for going above and beyond standard nonprofit reporting requirements by releasing detailed data regarding its organizational leadership, program areas, strategies, capabilities, and audited finances. If Governor Raimondo would like more information about Global Zero’s donors, I would refer her to Global Zero. I no longer work for Global Zero so do not have the authority to provide additional donor information.
Global Zero works every day to prevent nuclear war and does it well. I don’t know how Governor Raimondo can justify attacking an organization whose only mission is to prevent nuclear war at such a dangerous time in the world in an attempt to serve her own political ambitions.
Transparency is critical because it establishes trust with the public and allows the public to know about any possible conflicts of interest. In Governor Raimondo’s campaigns and in her administration, there has been a consistent lack of transparency.
For example: Rhode Islanders deserve to know the names of the donors to EngageRI, a dark money group that backed Governor Raimondo’s campaign to cut pensions. Rhode Islanders deserve to know who gave money to Point Judith, her Wall Street-style venture capital firm, and how much she has personally profited from the state’s investment in Point Judith.
Rhode Islanders also deserve to know who funds the Manhattan Institute - aside from the Koch Brothers, whom we know are donors - which gave her an award for her pension cuts. And Rhode Islanders need to know how much she raised and what she said at a $1,000-a-plate campaign fundraiser in Boston in June that was hosted by board members of Partners HealthCare -- since her administration will ultimately determine whether its possible acquisition of Care New England is in the best interests of the public, and either approve or reject it.
I urge Governor Raimondo to release all of this information to the public.
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